ICC U19 Cricket World Cup helps prepare the way for the next generation

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- While players at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup (U19 CWC) will be focused on battling for the world title, they will also be learning about the responsibilities and pressures of playing the game at international level.

The tournament is seen as an important opportunity for up-and-coming young players to increase their awareness and understanding of the sport’s codes, including anti-doping and anti-corruption.

“It is always our intention to operate the tournament in much the same way as we run our major international events – like the Cricket World Cup or World Twenty20. It is like a finishing school for the next generation of top players,” said ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat.

“History tells us that many of the players competing in New Zealand will soon be playing senior international cricket. Indeed, some have already done so. So introducing them to some of the wider responsibilities and challenges of the international professional game will be beneficial as they look to make their mark at the higher levels.

“As a sport, we take our responsibility to keep the game free of taints such as corruption and drugs very seriously so the earlier we can educate players on these issues the better.”

Vast sums of money are involved in both legal and illegal betting on cricket around the globe. As such, there is a constant need to be vigilant and guard against corruption. Potential corruptors look for vulnerable players and officials to provide inside information or encourage them to underperform.

Cricket continues to take a leading role in combating corruption in sport. The ICC, through its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), has adopted a multi-faceted approach to meet this challenge. That process includes prevention through education and enforcement of minimum standards and discipline in the dressing rooms, the gathering of intelligence, the investigation of reported breaches or approaches and, where appropriate, the instigation of disciplinary procedures.

Mr Lorgat said that while betting on youth cricket was not common, it was still necessary to maintain high levels of vigilance for tournaments such as the U19 CWC.

"We have noted a trend in recent years for those involved in illegal betting to ‘groom’ players from an early age,” he said. “So it is especially important for us to be vigilant around this event and to extend our education programme to young players.

“Prior to the tournament, players will be given information about the ways in which people may seek to influence them, and about the penalties that can be imposed on those who become involved in inappropriate activities.”

Players will also be briefed on the ICC Anti-Doping Code which is the basis of international cricket’s efforts to keep the sport free of banned substances. The code is designed to make sure cricket plays its part in the global fight against drugs in sport.
 
Anti-doping education sessions will be held for all teams at the U19 CWC, reinforcing the ICC’s zero-tolerance approach to doping in cricket.

“The ICC’s major thrust in this area is to ensure fair competition for everyone,” Mr Lorgat said. “We hope that these talented young cricketers come away from this event with an appreciation of how difficult it is for drug cheats to get away with doping practices.”

There are many other positive learning opportunities for players at the tournament. They will learn about promotional responsibilities and dealing with the international news media through interviews and press conferences, and the ICC will also assist with education and support in these areas.

“There’s also the chance to see how a major international competition operates – as well as opportunities to perform at international level and to share experiences and insights with fellow players from around the world,” added Mr Lorgat.


About the U19 CWC 2010

This 16-team tournament, which is seen as an important breeding ground for the next generation of senior international cricketers, will take place in New Zealand from 15 to 30 January 2010.

Defending champion India will open its campaign against qualifier Afghanistan in front of the ESPN Star Sports (ESS) cameras at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, near Christchurch, on the opening day of the competition with Pakistan facing the West Indies in Palmerston North and 2008 beaten finalist South Africa taking on Ireland in Queenstown.

The 16 teams are split into four groups with Groups A and C being based in and around Christchurch, Group B teams playing their matches in Queenstown and Group D games taking place in Napier and Palmerston North.

A full match schedule for the tournament is available at
http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/events_and_awards/u19/fixtures.php